Your Input Wanted on Property Rights by Marlene Black

Marlene Black

One of the facts that has become most obvious to any of the landowners in Ontario is that we are being overrun with intrusive individuals who seem to feel that they have total authority to walk all around our property, take pictures if they want to and leave orders for us to follow. WHAT DICTATORSHIP ARE THEY LIVING IN? Certainly not Canada but I digress. Yes, it is in Canada and these people strutting around looking for ways to charge you; for a messy yard, for filling a hole on your land; for putting in new windows without a permit, for leaving your truck in the middle of nowhere, are often acting on one anonymous complaint. We hear such unbelievable stories on a daily basis. Your neighbour doesn’t like you, call the city and complain. Your husband/wife has left you, call the city and complain, “tell them your spouse reads hunting magazines and they’ll investigate”. It is ridiculous that one complaint, must activate a visit from the authority. One Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans investigator said he had over 30 complaints on his desk, all from the same individual, who was walking around rural properties looking for people who might be disturbing their wetland and this supervisor had to respond to every one. A crazy system it seems. Which brings me around to what a certain group of people have been working on for the past year.

In the early days of Patrick Brown’s win as leader of the PC party, he met with many rural people and heard the stories of overstepping government agents who were sending the ‘good citizens’ of the land to court for a host of charges that any normal, common sense person, would have stuffed into the garbage can. If it wasn’t charges that they had fun throwing our way, it was taking great pleasure in denying our requests for permits or demanding they we jump through a barrage of expensive hoops before they might consider it. Power tripping 101.

To his credit, Patrick listened to these stories and decided to put MPP Jack MacLaren in charge of forming a Blue Ribbon Panel on Property Rights which he did. Jack got a group of citizens well versed in property rights and the lack of, and for the past year, they have been working on Phase 1; having regular meetings, lots of back and forth, flip chart discussions with lunch around a table to eventually put together a Blue Ribbon paper on Property Rights. This was presented recently to Patrick Brown and some caucus members, it was well received and the green light was given to go ahead with Phase 2, holding town hall public meetings across Ontario.

I was one of those helping out on this Panel and it has been a learning curve that is for sure but what became so very obvious to all of us was that if we live in a great country which starts to let our property rights slide, it won’t be long before we’re not living in a great country. We learned about Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto who travels the world talking about how property rights have lifted poor countries out of poverty and given them an opportunity for wealth. His YouTube video “The Power of the Poor” is a great watch.

The property rights group will be touring Ontario in April and May, 2017. If you think you would like to attend one of these meetings, watch for the dates to be posted on the website: The PC riding associations in your area, may be hosting the meetings. The hope is to get input from citizens as to what ideas we can present to the PC party so that Property Rights is front and centre in their 2018 election platform. On that website there is a place to put your comments so please do that! Canada was built on freedom and property rights. If the rules, regulations and burdensome red tape had been around when the early settlers arrived to this land, the strength, spirit and dreams of a better future, that they brought with them, would have been squashed like a bug!

For a country to prosper, we cannot tie the hands of those people trying to start businesses, create jobs and use their entrepreneurial spirit to dream big. There is no dreaming big in Ontario. It isn’t enough that you’ve survived navigating the clogged myriad of unattainable and ridiculous demands that some unaccountable bureaucrats like to invent, to push you over the edge, they continue to find more hoops for you to jump through and more ways to drain your bank account. Let’s find some good solutions to these problems and put an end to further abuses.